children

Too Young?

When I write about the plight of transgender kids, it is not unusual to encounter a comment or two from people who think it necessary to share their opinion that it is impossible for a child younger than 5 to know his gender.

It is also not unusual to encounter articles by people with little to no experience working with transgender kids expressing the same or similar opinion.

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One might think she's the most fearsome creature in America

 photo Lucy_zpss1gjege0.jpgYou should meet Lucy Tidd. She is 8. It is unusual for such a young child to be scaring the bejeezus out of adults across the land.

Because looking at the behavior of those adults...adults who enough people judged to be sufficiently mentally competent that they elected them to public office, you'd think she was a serial killer.

It was the first day of third grade and 8-year-old Lucy was sitting in the principal’s office with her parents, crying her heart out. She was terrified. Mark and I sat with her and said: ‘This is your journey. We will go and do whatever you want.’ She had this blue bunny and she just held onto that and sobbed and sobbed. And then Mark carried her to the classroom.

--Briget Tidd

The scariest thing is that nobody knew except for the teachers. The kids saw Benjamin walk into school dressed like a girl, and they were like, ‘Hey, Benji.’ They were confused, but there was no malicious intent.

--Mark Tidd

Lucy didn’t relax until recess, when her mother helped a group of curious girls understand what was happening.

I said to them, ‘This is the same person you played with last year, that you played four square with, that you played jump rope with, that you ran around and played ball with. This is the same exact person.’ Only now, Benji wants to be just like you...like a girl.

--Briget Tidd

“I said, ‘Do you think that we can let her be herself and do this?’ ” Bridget asked the girls, who nodded in agreement. “Then the next thing I know they took her hand and they ran and that was it.”

I stood there with tears in my eyes, trusting that the rest of the day would be OK, and I let her go. And at that moment she was completely free, and we’ve never turned back.

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Helping Kids Thrive

 photo Mind_zpsrqgwhkw4.gifFrancine Russo has a suite of articles about transgender people in the January Scientific American Mind.The focus article is about transgender children: Transgender Kids: What Does It Take to Help Them Thrive?

If you've been paying attention, you might notice a severe disconnect on the part of conservative state and local legislators and the concept of transgender kids thriving.

Studies suggest that 0.3 percent of people in the U.S. feel strongly that their biological sex does not correspond to their gender identity.

Researchers have developed a multipart transition process for young trans people that begins with careful screening, then blockers at the onset of puberty and later cross-sex hormones to allow them to undergo puberty in their affirmed gender, followed by surgery.

Some parents and clinicians are pushing back against the existing guidelines, seeking a more case-by-case approach.

Those on the right consider being transgender to be a moral failing.

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For Mother's Day

 photo Avery_zpslmcolvdr.jpgFriday's entry in the New York Times editorial staff's Transgender Project was Families Share Stories of Raising Transgender Kids.

Among those kids highlighted was Avery Jackson (apparently also known as AJ) a 7 year-old transgender girl from the Kansas City, MO area. Avery insisted that she be allowed to make a video for submission to the story wall.

 

 

When I was born, doctors said I was a boy, but I knew in my heart I was a girl,” she says. “Even though I was a girl, I was afraid to tell my mom and dad, because I thought they would not love me anymore or throw me out or stop giving me any food or anything.

--Avery

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